In a latest development in the Sputnik V vaccines, the first consignment of vaccine doses today arrived in Hyderabad from Russia. Developed by Moscow's Gamaleya Institute and touted as the world's first COVID-19 vaccine, it is also the third jab to get emergency use approval in India.
While no official details have been received as to how many doses have arrived, news agency ANI cited diplomatic sources to say that India expects to receive 150,000 to 200,000 ready-made vaccines to be available very quickly in the early part of May. Reportedly, another 3 million doses are expected by the end of the month.
Around June, India is expected to receive 5 millions of doses. In April, Russian Direct Investment Fund CEO Kirill Dmitriev had confirmed that the first batch would arrive on May 1 and said that he expected over 50 million doses of the vaccine to be manufactured in India over the next few months. Earlier reports had indicated that five pharmaceutical companies in India have been roped in to produce a projected 850 million doses annually.
Sputnik V should be administered in two doses of 0.5 ml each with an interval of 21 days. According to the guidelines, the vaccine is indicated for active immunisation to prevent Covid-19 in individuals over 18 years of age and it needs to be stored at a temperature of minus 18-degree Celsius in liquid form. However, it can be stored at 2-8-degree Celsius in its freeze-dried form in a conventional refrigerator, making it easier to transport and store.
Meanwhile, people today between the ages of 18 and 44 began lining up for the first time outside COVID-19 vaccination centres in various parts of India. But even as India's inoculation efforts expanded, many hospitals and state governments have flagged shortages.